German designs clearly influenced and propelled Japan’s postwar motorcycle industry. It is evident in this DKW. The Germans would provide a two-stroke engine foundation for many companies, including British, American, Russian, and Japanese makers.The Allies deemed the German designs as patent-free as part of their war reparations. Harley-Davidson took advantage of that to introduce the S125, its own faithful reproduction of the great little RT125 commuter bike made by Germany’s DKW. Britain’s BSA also introduced a DKW clone called the Bantam. Yamaha, a company rooted in musical instrument manufacture, did the same by introducing a 125cc in 1954, following a visit to Germany. Named the YA-1, it was remarkably similar to the DKW design. The small two-stroke with its Teutonic heritage brought transportation to a lot of people that otherwise may never have been able to afford it. Photo courtesy of Mike Dunn.
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!